Happy World Theatre Day!

Wherever you are in the world I hope you and your class are celebrating.

Please share your celebrations with us at http://worldtheatreday.info

Our school decided to make a video in response to the question, “What does theatre mean to you?”

This is what our staff and students had to say. We would love for you to take a look.

Enjoy your day.

Help Us Celebrate World Theatre Day

You may or may not know that March 27th is World Theatre Day.

It’s pretty exciting to know that theatre gets its own day of recognition alongside talking like a pirate and pancakes.

You also may or may not know that back in 2013 my Twitter pal @edtech4theatre and I started the World’s Biggest Theatre Ensemble through our first World Theatre Day celebration. You can read about it here and here.

Suffice to say, we’re keen to revive and expand it and we need you to help us.

We recently spoke on TheatreCast about the upcoming day and how you can get involved. We’ve also set up a website which you can check out here.

All we’re really keen to do is have teachers celebrate the day in any way they can – big or small. Maybe you just organise a special lesson with your class. Maybe you present something at a school assembly.  Send it to us and we’ll share it on our webpage. We’re adding information to the website so if you need ideas, permission notes to allow your students to be photographed and used in the public domain you can access it all here at the site. If you want to co-ordinate a gathering of drama teachers go ahead and do it.

Either way we just want to spread the word that teachers all over the world are doing awesome stuff in their classroom every day and we want people to see it, share it and be proud of it. Let’s spread the message that the arts matter.

Please share this post with your colleagues via your school email system, share it on your personal social media pages. Let’s just spread the message of #theatrelove.

Stay tuned to this blog or the World Theatre Day website for updates. Hope to share your WTD fun on March 27th.

Image Credit: www.breaksincornwall.com

The World’s Biggest Theatre Ensemble’s Debut!

I’ve posted about the World Theatre Video and the World Theatre Day projects before (here and here) and today I wanted to share with you our first video for the project. Performers were given one of the hardest monologues in the English language – Hamlet’s “To Be or Not To Be” monologue from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Already I can see huge improvements from our initial video back in March in terms of performance quality and cinematography. All the performers have done a tremendous job.

I have been presenting at a number of TeachMeets in Sydney spruiking our project in the hope of getting more schools involved. It’s definitely getting a lot of positive feedback so hopefully more young performers will get involved.

This month, November, we are looking at Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem The Raven. It is another challenging piece so the more schools we have involved, the more we can share the challenge of performing each of the stanzas.

For more details please visit worldtheatrevideo.com

You can also share and use the Slide Share presentation I have been taking round to schools to promote our project.

Enjoy the video.

The World’s Biggest Theatre Ensemble

I am really excited about this new project I am apart of.

It’s called World Theatre Video. You can check out the website here.

I’m excited about it for a number of reasons. Most importantly though, I’m excited about the way in which it was created.

I’ve posted before about the enormous benefit of starting a PLN (Professional Learning Network for the uninitiated). I cannot stress how isolated I felt in the classroom for so many years, desperate to connect with someone who understood how I was feeling, what I was going through and what I needed.

Now, I will have had my PLN for almost three years this coming January. This blog and now the Facebook page are both products of me starting a PLN. The motivation it has provided me, the support and encouragement it has offered me, has kept me engaged in my profession as a teacher. It is always challenging me to try something new.

It’s a place in which I feel ideas, as lofty and undeveloped as they may seem, are not scoffed at but encouraged and may actually eventuate.

Things, such as this project, World Theatre Video.

Earlier in the year, I made a rather fleeting request on Twitter to see if any drama teachers would be willing to collaborate with me on a World Theatre Day project. You can read about what happened here.

Due to that tweet and everything that happened in its wake, I have had the pleasure of meeting both @MoAsh245 and @edtech4theatre in real life.

It was a rather exciting moment. To connect from half way around the world and another state entirely is a really remarkable thing.

The organic nature in which it all came about was a wonderful thing to be a part of. It made me think how easy it is to connect with those that are willing from anywhere in the world not just from your region or immediate community of schools. Why do we have to keep it to our immediate environments?

In reflecting on that time it was a fun, simple project that engaged my students. Thankfully they were all willing and excited to be seen by students around the world. It made theatre and their own performance real to them. It made them accountable. I also think it is a fabulous way to expose drama and to celebrate the awesomeness that is drama teaching and live theatre.

I’m proud of Nick for expanding the project and incorporating his knowledge of Google Apps to make it a credible, worthwhile project that demonstrates how creative and tech savvy drama teachers can be. That we don’t need to be entering into million dollar software deals. That there are free resources at our fingertips if we just leave the bureaucracy and red tape out of it. Also, it shows how well we can collaborate, particularly virtually! That technology is not something we are afraid of embracing as we move into developing 21st Century learners and the face of theatre as we know it.

Many people still scoff at PLN’s and the use of social networking out of work hours to expand and develop their knowledge of teaching. It does move at an extremely fast pace but I guarantee that I wouldn’t be half as knowledgeable about education “stuff” if it wasn’t for my PLN. It makes me feel that sometimes schools are just so slow and really behind the eight ball. It really is up to the individual teacher to make 21st Century learning happen in their classroom despite the system and the people who are happy to ride along in cruise control in their old beat up Holden. If you catch my drift…

I encourage you to get involved in this project. It is fun. It poses so many questions as to the validity of social media and technology in our classrooms and in theatre as well as the possibilities for it in the future. This may be the opportunity some of your students need or are looking for. It may be what you have been needing or looking for.

Photo Credit: Βethan via Compfight cc

World Theatre Day: A Global Drama Classroom Project

March 27th was World Theatre Day. I only discovered that there was a World Theatre Day in January. I was randomly surfing the net and I came across it. I don’t really remember what exactly I was searching to find it.

I decided that I wanted to do something to celebrate it with my classes. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but I knew that I wanted to video something. The kids talking about Drama or some such thing. I was stuck for ideas and randomly tweeted “World Theatre Day. March 27th. Anyone want to collaborate?” I pinged a few people: @MoAsh245 @lsmdrama @edtech4theatre. Nick (@edtech4theatre) had the idea of getting our kids to record the famous monologue “All the World’s a Stage” from Shakespeare’s As You Like It. People were keen on the idea and we got our kids together and recorded it. Nick has done a great job editing it and putting it together.

My kids were so excited to be involved. They feel famous and so excited to have virtually connected with students from around the world. They learnt their section of the monologue in a matter of minutes and were able to record it really quickly with very few hiccups. I’m really proud of how it turned out and it’s been so great to finally collaborate on a project with some of my PLN colleagues. I’d been wanting to do this for awhile. Check out our kids in action below and here’s to our next project!